2007 reenactment with a twist
2008.10.20 "Eternal Wrest"
def: a-typological architecture
...he straight away understood how my concept of reenactment fit exactly with the point of his paper, which was that there is now indeed too much copying of Koolhaas and Eisenman by a 'second generation' that does not fully understand the process behind the 'original' designs Bernard subsequently embraced the notion of 'critical' reenactment as a key to continuance of methodology that does not merely become an insufficient copy.
Re: 'game over" design
I got a copy of Homo Ludens a few years ago, and so far I have really only read the introduction. Nonetheless, I still got much from the book so far. For example, I collected many passages that I feel relate to how Piranesi designed / 'played with' his reenactment of ancient Rome via the Ichnographia Campus Martius--indeed, reenactment itself is very much a "re-play", literally a playing / acting [even designing?] again.
WTC Panoramas (and history)
I visit only when implored by out of town guests. I wonder how many NYers haven't necessarily turned their backs on the event or the place, but find the circus there repugnant. Most everyone I know never visits. It is becoming a place for others to consume.
These exact words could (have) be(en) used by myself with respect to the truly historic sites of downtown Philadelphia, that is, until I began to understand the real meaning of quondam. I've come to realize that the national historic sites of downtown Philadelphia as they have become enshrined are nonetheless going through a continual process of erasure and palimpsest via simulacra and (indeed) reenactment.
Do I like it the way it is at Historic Philadelphia now? No, not entirely. But I do think it is important for me to now be much more aware of what is going on 'down there.' I know you probably all think that I'm crazy about reenactment, and that it is some kind of great realization about design and how design operates, which is true in that that is how I feel. But, what I think is not so well understood, is that I am still trying to understand reenactment at the same time that I write (to you) about it. I have only a very small idea what the best solution for the 9/11 site in NYC is, especially with regard to it now being a tourist destination. I do know, however, what I would 'design' for Independence Hall, and that is to periodically have many State representatives come to Philadelphia on July Fourth, and just sit and talk for a while where the original State delegates sat. That way I and many others might just have a 'real' better idea of what it was like to be in Philadelphia on 4 July 1776.
I wonder what the NYC 9/11 site will be like 226 years from now?
what is today's movement?
Name any current mathematical, scientific or philosophical theory, and there's an architecture that will try to reenact it.
Look at the architecture of Mies, Le Corbusier (especially the late works), and Kahn (especially the early works), and there's a lot of contemporay architecture reenacting all that.
Philip Johnson's architecture is one reenactment after another.
Frank Gehry's architecture evolves via reenacting itself.
You want something original? Just reenact with a twist.
–verb (used with object)
1. to combine, as two or more strands or threads, by winding together; intertwine.
2. to form by or as if by winding strands together: Several fibers were used to twist the rope.
3. to entwine (one thing) with another; interlace (something) with something else; interweave; plait.
4. to wind or coil (something) about something else; encircle; entwine; wreathe.
5. to alter in shape, as by turning the ends in opposite directions, so that parts previously in the same straight line and plane are located in a spiral curve: The sculptor twisted the form into an arabesque. He twisted his body around to look behind him.
6. to turn sharply or wrench out of place; sprain: He twisted his ankle.
7. to pull, tear, or break off by turning forcibly: He twisted the arm off the puppet.
8. to distort (the features) by tensing or contracting the facial muscles; contort: She twisted her face in a wry smile.
9. to distort the meaning or form of; pervert: He twisted my comment about to suit his own purpose.
10. to cause to become mentally or emotionally distorted; warp: The loss of his business twisted his whole outlook on life.
11. to form into a coil, knot, or the like by winding, rolling, etc.: to twist the hair into a knot.
12. to bend tortuously.
13. to cause to move with a rotary motion, as a ball pitched in a curve.
14. to turn (something) from one direction to another, as by rotating or revolving: I twisted my chair to face the window.
15. to combine or associate intimately.
–verb (used without object)
16. to be or become intertwined.
17. to wind or twine about something.
18. to writhe or squirm.
19. to take a spiral form or course; wind, curve, or bend.
20. to turn or rotate, as on an axis; revolve, as about something; spin.
21. to turn so as to face in another direction.
22. to turn, coil, or bend into a spiral shape.
23. to change shape under forcible turning or twisting.
24. to move with a progressive rotary motion, as a ball pitched in a curve. 25. to dance the twist.
26. a deviation in direction; curve; bend; turn.
27. the action of turning or rotating on an axis; rotary motion; spin.
28. anything formed by or as if by twisting or twining parts together.
29. the act or process of twining strands together, as in thread, yarn, or rope.
30. a twisting awry or askew.
31. distortion or perversion, as of meaning or form.
32. a peculiar attitude or bias; eccentric turn or bent of mind; eccentricity.
33. spiral disposition, arrangement, or form.
34. spiral movement or course.
35. an irregular bend; crook; kink.
36. a sudden, unanticipated change of course, as of events.
37. a treatment, method, idea, version, etc., esp. one differing from that which preceded: The screenwriters gave the old plot a new twist.
38. the changing of the shape of anything by or as by turning the ends in opposite directions.
39. the stress causing this alteration; torque.
40. the resulting state.
41. a twisting or torsional action, force, or stress; torsion.
42. a strong, twisted silk thread, heavier than ordinary sewing silk, for working buttonholes and for other purposes.
43. the direction of twisting in weaving yarn; S twist or Z twist.
44. a loaf or roll of dough twisted and baked.
45. a strip of citrus peel that has been twisted and placed in a drink to add flavor.
46. a kind of tobacco manufactured in the form of a rope or thick cord.
47. a dance performed by couples and characterized by strongly rhythmic turns and twists of the arms, legs, and torso.
48. the degree of spiral formed by the grooves in a rifled firearm or cannon.
49. Gymnastics, Diving. a full rotation of the body about the vertical axis.
50. a wrench.
[note to self: reenactment with a twist, is that what Hejduk's architecture is really all about?]
...and speaking of random tangents
The four architects had decided to achieve an effect of harmony and therefore not to use any historical style in its pure form. Peter Keating designed the white marble semi-Doric portico that rose over the main entrance, and the Venetian balconies for which new doors were cut. John Erik Snyte designed the small semi-Gothic spite surmounted by a cross, and the bandcourses of stylized acanthus leaves which were cut into the limestone of the walls. Gordon L. Prescott designed the semi-renaissance cornice, and the glass-enclosed terrace projecting from the third floor. Gus Webb designed a cubistic ornament to frame the original windows, and the modern neon sign up on the roof, which read: "The Hopton Stoddard Home for Subnormal Children."
"Comes the revolution," said Gus Webb, looking at the completed structure, "and every kid in the country will have a home like that!"
The original shape of the building remained discernable. It was not like a corpse whose fragments had been mercifully scattered; it was like a corpse hacked to pieces and reassembled.
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1943), pp. 385-6.
Is anyone reading Frascari's Monsters of Architecture these days?
Are monsters merely crazy, mixed-up reenactments?
Does research kill architectural creativity?
I would never say that reenactment is duplication. Reenactment is a process that just happens to underlie a lot of creative operations.
In architecture, the notion of walls, floors, doors, windows, etc. are constantly reenacted, but not necessarily duplicated.
Can you say canonical?
...read the 'Introduction' and be aware of Eisenman's ongoing oppositional reenactment of Colin Rowe's analytical method (which ultimately reaches farce in the analysis of the 10th canonical building).
One could almost describe Eisenman's whole architectural design career as one oppositional reenactment after another, finally punctuated with bursts of intense originality (like the Max Reinhardt Haus, Haus Immendorf and the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences).
Architecture in Critical Condition, continued
"Eternal Wrest" will have to do with reenacting with a twist as a constant generator of originality.